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«Fuzzy field» and multi-sited fieldwork: which boundaries ?


5 février au 7 février 2020


Mme Laeticia Stauffer, UNIL Mme Ana Rodriguez, UNIL


Thomas Faist, Georges Marcus, Anne-Christine Trémon, Alice Aterianus-Owanga


Facing shifts in contemporary societies and interconnected social phenomena which couldn't be apprehended through the lens of national or ethnic societies as containers (Yuval-Davis & al., 2006), social scientists and anthropologists have developed new approaches to define their ethnographic fieldwork since the 70's. Following George E. Marcus' program (1995), multi-sited ethnography approach has been mobilized in various fields, leading researchers to re-think spaces and places of their empirical studies.

Since then, a wide range of notions have been used to define these approaches which have in common to combine multiple sites of investigation and observation: 'multi-sited ethnography' (Marcus, 1995), 'combinatoire' (combinatorial) (Dodier & Baszanger, 1997), 'tout-terrain' (all terrain) (Meyer & al., 2017), or 'discontinuous site' (Hage, 2005). In any case, following people, things, metaphors, plots, biographies or conflicts (Marcus, 1995) imply choices to be made regarding the delineation of a fieldwork, possibly driven by theoretical considerations (Nadaï & Maeder, 2005), or an ability to "seize the opportunity" (Meyer & al., 2017).

This doctoral workshop is dedicated to discuss these specific questions regarding studies which combine more than a single site of observation/investigation in the research process. After an opening conference with Georges E. Marcus and Thomas Faist (Wednesday evening, 5th February 2020) which will take place at the Institute of Ethnology of Neuchâtel, a doctoral residency will be held for two days (Thursday and Friday, 6th and 7th February) at l'Aubier in Montezillon (NE). The first day will be dedicated to specific issues – especially circulations of people and objects – allowing us to question the relevance of following people and things through multiple or non-continuous sites. The second day will be dedicated to discuss how to define, build and delineate fieldworks, and the advantages and limits of a multi-sited approach. Please find attached a provisional program.

The conference is open to the public. The doctoral workshop (Thursday and Friday) is open to PhD candidates (10 places available and a presentation of your PhD study regarding this specific methodological topic is warmly welcome). The event will take place in English and PhD students are invited to propose 30 minutes' presentations.

CUSO provide housing and catering from 6th in the morning to 7th evening and will reimburse transportation between your University and Neuchâtel (second class, "demi-tarif").

When registered, cancelling without medical certificate is possible until one month before the event. Registered students who would be absent without certificate or cancelling will be asked to pay their housing fees.

Once registered, thank you to send the title of your presentation before 10th of January to laeticia.stauffer(at)unil(dot)ch and analaura.rodriguezquinones(at)unil(dot)ch.


Mercredi 5 Février au soir, Institut d'Ethnologie de l'UNINE

  • Double conférence de Thomas Faist et Georges Marcus

Modération: Alain Müller, UNIBA


Jeudi 6 et vendredi 7 février, Résidence à l'Aubier à Montézillon (NE)


Jeudi 6 février: Circulation des personnes et des objets


  • 9h30 : Introduction, Laeticia Stauffer et Ana Rodriguez
  • 9h45 : Le terrain multi-situé comme réponse au contexte contemporain, Thomas Faist, Université de Bielefeld et Georges Marcus, Université de Californie


  • 11h30 : Interventions de

Discutant : Monika Salzbrunn, UNIL


  • 14h00-15h30, Anne-Christine Trémon, UNIL, "Multiscalar ethnography in an emigrant village : the changing scope and valence of local and global scales"


  • 16h00 :Interventions de

Discutant : Alain Müller, UNIBA


Vendredi 7 février : Choix des sites pour un terrain multi-situé



  • 9h30-10h45 : Interventions de


  • 11h : Interventions de

Discutant : IreneBecci, UNIL


  • 13h30-14h30 : Alice Aterianus-Owanga, UNIL, Sites, circuits, situations: fieldwork and writing tools for the anthropology of globalization of music and dance

Discussion: ManéliFarahmand, UNIL

  • 15h30-17h00 : Grande table ronde conclusive

Modération : Laeticia Stauffer et Ana Rodriguez, UNIL


UNINE / Aubier Hotel - Montézillon





Délai d'inscription 04.01.2020
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